In 1943 artist Francis V. Kughler, Hudson River Museum Director H. Armour Smith and Women’s Army Corps recruiter Joanne Coates conceived a plan to encourage women of Yonkers to enlist in the army and honor their contribution. Every Yonkers woman who joined the WACs would have her portrait made in oil or pastel by Kughler.
Abagail Bovshow attended the Yonkers Defense School, designed to prepare women for wartime factory jobs. Prior to enlisting the Women’s Army Corps she worked with her father, who operated a grocery store in Riverdale. She was initially stationed at Fort Ogelthorpe, Georgia, where many WACs underwent basic training, and was later transferred to an Air Force unit at Colorado Springs.